... is now online as well. Sorry for the delay, but I had a scare involving static electricity zapping the sound component of my laptop's motherboard. This show was also an all-news show - I wasn't lying when I said that tons of press releases are issued at the Winter Meeting's of the AAS - and I discussed:
- News: NASA chastises astronomers for lobbying for money to be devoted to Space Interferometry Mission (SIM), a future satellite designed to image planets orbiting other stars, claiming that it will lead to the cancellation and/or delay or more important astronomical missions; congratulations to Dr. Maxim Kontsevich (IHES - France), Dr. Edward Witten (IAS - Princeton, NJ), and Dr. Rashid Sunyaev (MPI - Germany) for being awarded the Crafoord Prize; NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) - an infrared detector mounted in the nose of a 747 jet (really!) - completes next round of testing; European Space Agency (ESA) starts developing BepiColombo, a joint Japanese/European mission to Mercury.
- Radio Astronomy: The Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA)- the highest resolution astronomical facility in existence - announce new measurements of the distance to star forming regions and faraway galaxies, the spin of nearby galaxy M33, and confirms that the supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way is at the exact center of the Milky Way; the Greenbank Telescope (GBT) discovers that a nearby, massive cloud of hydrogen is going to collide with the Milky Way in 40 million years, as well as discovers 5 new clouds of hydrogen around nearby galaxy M81; timing measurements made by the Arecibo radio telescope indicate that neutron stars can have masses higher than previously thought; Arecibo detects presence of ingredients of amino acids in faraway galaxy - Arp 220.
- Tuesday Morning Astronomer - an Astronomy perspective on the Astronomy news bulletin in Gregg Easterbook's ESPN Page 2 Column Tuesday Morning Quarterback: From Pluto, the Sun would very much look like a normal star to a person, which is a very sobering thought on just how big the universe is. Also, I forgot to mention that his statement that planets move slower on the sky than stars is wrong. Planets move faster on the sky than stars, and I actually think the word "planet" comes from the Greek word for "wanderer."
- Calendar of upcoming events in the Greater New York Area.
- Galaxy Formation: Astronomers discover galaxies in the early universe believed to be the building blocks of galaxy like our own Milky Way; large elliptical galaxies today may have indeed been formed in the early universe, consistent with detections of such galaxies in the distant past; Hubble detects clusters of young stars created in gas ejected from galaxies in which are merging / colliding.